Did you know radishes can go from seed to small plant in as little as 3 days?
No, I’m sure the only thought you ever gave radishes was how well they would go with the rest of your salad ingredients!
The Greek name of the radish species actually means "quickly appearing" and refers to the rapid germination of these plants. The word we use is derived from Latin “radix” meaning simply, root—an uncharacteristically humble name for a very flavorful vegetable.
Radishes grow best in full sun and light. They are in season from April to June and from October to January when the weather is warm but not hot in most parts of North America. Other times of the year the radishes you find in your local grocery are brought in from warmer or cooler areas. Some varieties grow best in the cool days of early spring, while others are planted in late summer, to mature in the cooler, more moist days of fall.
Because they grow so quickly, radishes are a common crop in children's gardens. The bright red-skinned variety with the white interior we are most familiar with is called Cherry Belle. Spring and Fall radishes can also be found in varying shades of white and purple. Winter radish or Daikon originates in Japan but has gained popularity here in the US. Black Spanish or Black Spanish Round, which are sometimes simply called the black radish, has a rough black skin with hot-flavored white flesh.
The seeds of radishes are edible, and are sometimes used as a crunchy, spicy addition to salads. In fact some species are grown specifically for their seeds or seed pods, rather than their roots. The seeds are sometimes sold sprouted in small plastic containers and add a sharp, tasty crunch to the simplest salad.
Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin c and B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
Slice radishes and serve with your favorite dip or layer them with avocado and a sprinkle of kosher salt on whole wheat toast for a delicious healthy sandwich. While radishes are most often eaten raw, they can be braised or roasted just as any other root vegetable. To roast radishes, toss them with canola oil and a generous dusting of fresh pepper and kosher salt and place in one layer on a lined cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven. Roast 15 minutes until the radishes are tender.
When storing radishes at home, always trim the leaves as they will quickly turn slimy and wet. Keep them in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper—they will stay nice and crunchy for two weeks.
2 cups (about 8-ounces) snow peas, trimmed and rinsed
3 scallions (white part only), checked and thinly sliced
8 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin slices—about 1 cup
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar or mirin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Place snow peas in a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. After 2 minutes, Remove the snow peas form the water and rinse under ice cold water. When cool, strain. Cut snow peas on the diagonal into 1/2-inch diamond shapes, discarding end pieces.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine snow peas, scallions and radishes. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Pour over vegetable mixture and serve.
2 tablespoons apple cider or juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces radishes, trimmed and each cut into wedges
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, checked
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
In a large bowl whisk together the cider, orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the radish wedges, parsley, and red onion. Toss gently and refrigerate for at least an hour making sure to toss the salad once or twice during the hour so all the radishes are coated with the dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature.
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
12 ounces white cabbage, checked and shredded (about 6 cups)
6 to 7 large red radishes, thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
2 scallions, checked and thinly sliced (white and green parts)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Toss together cabbage, radishes, craisins, and scallions. Drizzle dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste.